Monday, November 30, 2009

Just Say No

Todd Book (at right ) welcomes Bill to “Strickland Country” 2/25/09

Portsmouth Daily Times coverage of Todd Book’s withdrawal from the race for the U.S. House of Representatives 2nd Congressional District is just one example of why anyone concerned about the future of Portsmouth should make a New Year’s resolution not to buy a single copy of that newspaper in the year ahead. “Just Say No to the Daily Times” is as good a slogan for the war against political corruption in Portsmouth as “Just Say No to Drugs” is in the war against drugs.

Functioning as both a reporter and editor of the incredibly shrinking
Daily Times, Frank Lewis has tried not only to turn Abraham Lincoln into a teabagging wingnut but he has tried to turn Todd Book into General William Tecumseh Sherman, who is remembered by Northerners at least for steadfastly refusing to capitalize on his status as a Civil War hero to run for President of the United States. In response to efforts to get him to run as the presidential candidate in 1884, Sherman responded, in words to this effect: “If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve.” Lewis reports Book saying he will not run for the U.S. House of Representatives “because of his current workload in Columbus.” That is not the reason Book is not running. He is not running, as I see it, because he would very likely lose to Republican incumbent Jean Schmidt. Whatever chances Book may have had of defeating Schmidt when he first announced his candidacy have since evaporated. Since Book stood next to Clinton at that February rally at Shawnee State, he has less reason to smile. The political tide is turning against Democrats at all levels, local, state, and national, and Book is not a strong enough candidate to be able to swim against that tide, and he cannot run again for the office he currently holds because of term limits.

But there was probably an even more compelling reason for Book’s withdrawal from the race for the seat in the U.S. Congress. According to Geoffrey Sea, who is a supporter of Book’s rival for the Democratic nomination and a blogger on DailyKos and, Book’s withdrawal was almost inevitable because on November 17th the Tri-State Building and Construction Trades Council rescinded its endorsement of Book. Sea says the Tri-State Council rescinded its endorsement after it was learned that Book’s law firm was the legal agent for a non-union shop in Georgia. Book was claiming to be a friend of labor while privately profiting from being the lawyer representing a business that opposed unions. Sea quotes an unidentified union source as saying that, because of legal ties to the non-union company, Book
has lost all of his union and labor support.” Didn’t Lewis know about this, or is his surfing of the Internet confined to those wingnut websites where the Great Emancipator is recast in the image of a teabagger?

Why didn’t Lewis ask Book about the Tri-State Council, which is based in Ashland? Could it be because any news that is unflattering to the bipartisan local political machine is considered unfit to print in the
Daily Times? In what Lewis billed as an “exclusive interview,” he allowed Book to portray his withdrawal from the Congressional race as a noble gesture, like General Sherman’s refusal to run for president. “It came down to a decision,” Book told Lewis, “between do I want to spend all of my time campaigning or do I want to spend time working for the people who elected me to do a job, and I take that seriously, and that is what I decided to do. You have to make decisions in life, and it’s not always easy, and with a limited amount of time, if it’s between campaigning or taking care of the job that I have, I’m going to take care of the job that I have, because the people elected me to do that . . .” Do I understand this correctly? As he begins his eighth and last year in the Ohio House of Representatives, Book finally realizes his highest obligation is to the people of Ohio's 89th District, who elected him? It is only then that he resolves to do the job he was elected to do?

Book withdrew only when it appeared he could not beat Schmidt in the general election and only after it appeared he might not even get his party’s nomination. How much credit should he be given for declining something that he was not going to get anyway? No credit at all, I would say.

“I’m going to take care of the job that I have, because the people elected me to do that” is the reason Book gives for his withdrawal in the “exclusive interview” in the
Portsmouth Daily Times. In giving that as his reason, Book insults the intelligence of the public as he previously insulted the public’s intelligence when he proposed that the stolen Indian Head Rock be used to teach schoolchildren about local history. What the children need to learn, in addition to “ Just Say No to Drugs,” is “Just Say No to the Portsmouth Daily Times.” That is what adults need to learn as well.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Sign of the Times

I took the photo of the sign on Grandview Avenue (shown above) a few days before the November 3rd, 2009, municipal elections. I had heard about the sign and its DON’T BE SCREWED BY A STRANGER message from someone I know called Joe, who was dissatisfied with the three mayoral candidates. Joe said he was going to write in the name on the sign as a form of protest vote. That’s apparently what the sign itself was, only a protest, because the homeowner who put the sign up was not waging a serious write-in campaign, as Jerry Skiver, one of the mayoral candidates was. He was apparently expressing his dissatisfaction with one or more of the three candidates he had to choose from.

In the past five years, Grandview Avenue has become Ground Zero, the Chernobyl of Portsmouth politics. The toxicity was not nuclear radiation but backed-up sewage. Mayor James Kalb and Ward Five councilman Howard Baughman neglected the sewer problem, but successive years of heavy rains caused flooding that angered the frustrated Grandview homeowners, who put up signs castigating the city government for its indifference and incompetence.

Facing a recall movement led by the residents of Grandview, Baughman resigned from city council; more recently the incompetent incumbent Kalb finished last in the mayoral race, in part because of Grandview. The sewage led to outrage, which led to signage, which led to the outage of Kalb and Baughman.


Because it points to something even more unpleasant than sewage, the message on the Grandview sign, DON’T BE SCREWED BY A STRANGER, deserves more scrutiny. There was a hundred-year period of Portsmouth’s history, roughly from the 1860s to the 1960s, when many residents did not think of it as Appalachian. That was the period of industrialization and population explosion. Industry and population density are not characteristics of Appalachia. But by the 1960s Portsmouth was slipping back into its rural, some would say redneck roots, and as it de-industrialized and de-populated it slipped economically into chronic recession. It slipped back, in other words, into Appalachia—to the rusting pickups up on blocks, the sofas on the porch, and the Tussies on welfare.

In the last half century, Portsmouth has shed its industrialized skin, and its Appalachian skeleton now sticks out like that of a two-hundred-pound man who has lost half his weight. In the last half century or so, Portsmouth has lost more than half its population and even more of its pride. I heard someone who had spent thirty years far away from Portsmouth say that he was surprised to learn after his return that he had grown up in Appalachia. For purposes of government assistance, and pork distribution, Portsmouth is now classified by the Department of Agriculture as a Rural Enterprise Zone. Though poor whites had probably always known better, the professional and business classes of Portsmouth, especially those on the Hill, had not realized they were living in Appalachia. But in the last twenty years, I've observed a number of foreign-born professionals unhappily discover that, in an irony reminiscent of the fable in “Appointment in Samara,” they had jumped from the Third World frying pan into the Appalachian fire. A number of them have come and gone, as have other native-born transplants from other parts of the United States.

What was not apparent for about a century, but what is all too evident now, is that Portsmouth is in Appalachia, America’s endogamous culture belt. Owing partly to geographical and topographical factors—the isolating hills and hollows in particular—and owing partly to the incestuous folkways of their borderland Scotch-Irish ancestors (see the chapter “Borderlands to Backcountry” in David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed [1989]), the people of Appalachia have tended historically toward endogamy, which is the habit of people in a particular group to marry within that group. One benefit of marrying within a group is that it strengthens your ties to that group. You feel closer to those with whom you share common values and experiences, a common dialect and heritage. Outsiders and strangers are distrusted, generally speaking, because they threaten the cohesiveness of the group. Strangers, as the Grandview sign succinctly puts it, are out to screw you.

Kissing Kin

In the two candidate forums that were held the week before the November 3rd elections, I was struck that the candidates emphasized, more than anything else, how deep their roots in the community were. The last thing a candidate could afford to be taken for is a stranger, so they took pains to prove, if they had been out of the area for any length of time, that it was just a fluke and that they were relieved to be back in Portsmouth, to be home again. Accentuating your ties to the people you want to vote for you is what candidates everywhere try to do, but in Scioto County it is imperative to prove you are not a stranger, which is the kiss of death in local politics. You must be kissing kin. The two candidate forums seemed designed to avoid debate and controversy; they seemed calculated to skirt important issues. Civility appeared to be the ultimate goal of the forums, even though civility is one of the favorite masks of corruption. Back in the 1990s, and possibly earlier, Portsmouth had as a tourist slogan, “Where Southern Hospitality Begins.” A more appropriate motto might be, “Where Southern Hostility Begins.”

The hostility toward strangers, and toward those who are considered strange, is more likely to surface during political campaigns, especially in times of economic distress. The hostility during campaigns is directed against candidates who represent change, especially if they are not conservative, straight, white males. So-called “birthers” have labeled President Obama not just a stranger but a foreigner who lacks American citizenship. He has been denounced as a Kenyan communist and an Islamo-fascist. A sign in West Plains, Missouri, showed him wearing a turban with the message: BARACK “HUSSEIN” OBAMA EQUALS MORE ABORTIONS, SAME SEX MARRIAGES, TAXES, GUN REGULATIONS.

There was no name on the Obama sign in Missouri, nor was there on the two anonymous blogs that sprang up in Porstmouth, like poisonous mushrooms, in the week before the November 3rd election. One of the anonymous Portsmouth bloggers posted a photo of the actor Edward Woodward, who starred in The Equalizer, a 1980s TV show about a former secret service agent who uses his gun, “the equalizer,” as a goniff, or law-skirting, free-lance vigilante, the bastard offspring of the same-sex marriage of James Bond and Dirty Harry.

“They don’t make TV shows like that anymore,” says the caption under the photo of Woodward. “Too bad,” the anonymous blogger continues. “Woodward knew how to deal with CAVE people.” CAVE is the anagram of the Motormouth over at WNXT. CAVE stands for Citizens Against Virtually Everything. Portsmouth’s Captain Queeg police chief has another name for the CAVE people. He calls them “domestic terrorists.”

Gun nuttiness manifests itself not just at the local but also at the national level, where the NRA, not the GOP, is the favorite organization of those disturbed people who feel threatened by “strangers” representing change. Alaska, Appalachia’s glacial, welfare-state cousin, is prone to gun nuttiness. Sarah Palin’s dad's one-liner that in resigning as Alaska’s governor she was not quitting but only just "reloading" is a sign of the times, a very disturbing sign. But signs don’t kill people: disturbed people do.

Sarah Palin's Rogue Elephantasy


Monday, November 16, 2009

No to Malicious Minority

Congratulations to Larry Essman, C.P.A., and his allies on the recent Ohio Supreme Court decision that reversed the ruling of the Scioto County Common Pleas Court, which had voided the results of the February 3, 2009, special election. The draft of the Supreme Court’s decision can be found at the Supreme Court website.

In the Feb. 3 election the voters had approved an amendment to the Portsmouth city charter, an amendment that stipulated that, “No taxes may be levied on the property owners of the City of Portsmouth for retirement of any bonded indebtedness without the approval of such levy by a majority of the electors of the City of Portsmouth.” In other words: No taxation without representation! The court ruled that those who challenged the results of the election in court should have raised their objections to language in the proposed ballot amendment before, not after, the election. To quote the Supreme Court decision, “Insofar as appellees challenged the election result because of the petition and ballot language, they should have raised their claims in a pre-election protest or proceeding rather than in a postelection contest.” In a wonderful phrase, the court said, “The alleged irregularity in this case is not so substantial that relators should be permitted to, in effect, sleep on their rights until after an adverse election result” [emphasis added].

Those who challenged the results of the Feb. 3 election did not exactly sleep on their rights. What they did was smugly spread the word before the election that the ballot language was fatally flawed, so it didn’t matter if the amendment was approved or not: it would be invalidated in the courts. Well, the results of the election were invalidated in the Scioto Court of Common Pleas (no big surprise there), but fortunately the Common Pleas is not the highest court in the state. This is yet another black eye for City Solicitor Jones, who could have and should have done something about the ballot language well before the election but preferred to wait and play “gotcha” after the election.

Larry Essman is one of those who attends City Council meetings whenever he can and tries to get the mayor and the city auditor to return to the path of fiscal responsibility. He is one of that alleged minority that is accused by the motor mouth on WNXT and Frank Lewis at the Portsmouth Daily Times of standing in the way of progress. Lewis is a teetotalling, tea-partying preacher who has abandoned all pretense of separating fact from opinion, editorials from news, and bias from objectivity. He has even enlisted Abraham Lincoln in his crusade against truth. What Essman and the alleged minority stand in the way of is not progress but fiscal irresponsibility. What they are adamantly opposed to are scams like the Marting Building and budgetary shenanigans. If Essman is part of only a small minority, then why do elections usually go heavily in their favor? Why has the Marting building been rejected decisively in more than one electoral contest? Why was Kalb KO’d and Mearan marinated in the recent Nov. 3 election? And why have the voters not followed the advice in editorial after editorial in the Portsmouth Daily Times, including the infamous one by Jason Lovins that suggested after the ballot amendment was passed on Feb. 3 that there was a bit too much democracy in Portsmouth? The departed Lovins has since been outdone by Lewis who has abandoned any pretense of separating facts from opinion, editorials from news, and bias from objectivity. Just the other day he floated the idea of moving city government away from the Municipal Building, because of that allegedly small minority of troublemakers who regularly show up for council meetings. Lewis favors moving it to a local pub, where the elite can meet to screw the public out of view of the alleged minority.

Let’s see what spin Lewis and the PDT put on the Supreme Court decision. As I wrote recently, people who really want progress in Portsmouth should take a pledge not to buy the incredibly shrinking newspaper. Everyone should just say no to the Portsmouth Daily Times as the Supreme Court said no to that real malicious minority who tried but failed to thwart the will of the electorate.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Nichols's home ablaze (Photo courtesy of Moe's Forum)

I mean "fired" first in the sense of a blaze being intentionally set, as I suspect Wayne Nichols’s house on Eighth Street was yesterday. I also mean fired in the sense of someone being emphatically removed from a job, as Mayor Jim Kalb was decisively by the voters of Portsmouth, which also happened yesterday.

If Nichols had not been in jail when the fire occurred, he probably would today be under suspicion of having set the fire himself, because that’s how things work in Portsmouth, the victims being blamed for the crimes of others. Nichols will not face a judge or have opportunity for bail until next Tuesday at 10 AM, according to Nichol's sister, by which time he will have been in jail for thirteen days.

Because he was in jail, Nichols possibly did not know his house had burned, and might not have known how dirty the campaign had become during the last few days when supporters of Mayor Kalb and First Ward Councilman Mike Mearan started an anonymous blog called The Underground, which began by pretending to be against Kalb, but that was only to attract the attention that it would not have otherwise gotten. I have little doubt that one of those writing anonymously for the Underground blog is an alcoholic human virus who insinuates himself electronically into the Portsmouth body politic by parasitically taking on the appearance or coloration of his political enemies, of capitalizing on their greater name recognition. A political ally of the Kalb family, this creep started out some years ago by calling himself Look Deeper, mimicking "Doug Deepe," John Welton’s well-known pseudonym. More recently he has adopted the pseudonym River Lices, mimicking River Vices.

The Underground blog quickly morphed into a pro-Kalb political dirty tricks website that accused mayoral candidate Jane Murray of having misused a public credit card some twenty years ago when she was a public employee in Kentucky. The Underground tried to capitalize on the sexist bias against women by suggesting that political and financial chaos would follow if Murray were elected mayor, as if we are not now experiencing political and financial chaos under Kalb, who finished an ignominious third in the election. Behind a woman and a write-in candidate! I had predicted Murray would get 44% of the three-way vote, which is what she got, but I did not think Kalb would finish third, although I knew it would be a mistake to underestimate his lack of achievement.

I’m assuming that among that minority who voted for Kalb were all those husbands who do not trust their wives with credit cards. The Underground also homophobically suggested that Mike Mearan’s opponent had AIDS, a dirty trick that was followed up by another supporter of Mearan who produced an incriminating dirty-tricks flyer that purported to be from Mearan’s gay-agenda opponent. The low-lifes behind these dirty tricks could not have chosen a more appropriate name for their blog than The Underground.

But the ultimate dirty trick in this campaign was the apparent torching of Nichols’s home. A Vietnam veteran who occasionally displays signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome, Nichols has for years been a thorn in the side of city government and of Kalb in particular. When Kalb and his cronies on city council, including council president Howard Baughman, tried to restrict the rights of concerned citizens to speak before the council, Nichols was one of those they were trying to stifle. They have been harassing him for years. Not that he hasn’t broken some laws and violated city ordinances, including letting junk accumulate on his porch and yard, but if letting junk accumulate on a porch and yard is a serious crime, there are a lot of people in the city and county who would not escape hanging. Nichols’s real crime was working his tail off to insure his right to speak before council and working his tail off every election, in spite of physical disabilities, to defeat politicians and ballot measures he strongly disagrees with. Now, as the holiday season approaches, he is without his home or his van, which were completely destroyed in the fire. Will Nichols become homeless, like the mother and son Mearan cheated out of their house in Wheelersburg?

The morning after the fire, I talked to a man who lives right next to Nichols who told me he heard a loud pop just before the fire started. A loud pop? Like a Molotov cocktail shattering? No one is certain at this point who or what started the fire, and we may never be certain, if past arson investigations are any indication. Remember when those hot files in the office of realtor Ken Rase caused that building to burst into flames, in an apparent instance of spontaneous combustion? Who was the usual suspect when the Columbia Theater went up in flames? The owner, Lee Scott, who had been working heroically with his own hands for years, along with his son, to restore the theater. Fortunately, Nichols has the most airtight alibi—bar none: he was in the hoosegow. O, Portsmouth! Is there any other city in America of comparable size that can compare with you for heartbreaking tragicomedy? Only Shakespeare could do justice to this cast of characters and this comedy of errors.

The Scene of the Crime: the Morning After

That is His Honor the mayor (center) making an election-day appearance


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Letter to the Children of Portsmouth

Kiwanis Playground in Tracy Park

Letter to the Children of Portsmouth on the Eve of the Election of November 3rd, 2009

Being children, none of you is likely to read this letter or understand it fully if you do.

This letter will not be published in the Portsmouth Daily Times nor is it likely to be mentioned on WNXT or referred to in sermons that will be preached today in the many churches in the area.

I am writing this letter to you, the children of Portsmouth, not for now, when it is not likely to make any difference in your lives, but for the future, when you are older and have outgrown the playground that was dedicated yesterday in Tracy Park, in the center of Portsmouth. The playground was the project of the Kiwanis Club, an organization that proclaims itself the champion of boys and girls like you, in this country and all over the world.

This letter is not likely to have any influence on you, but I am hoping that if your parents happen to read it they might consider what I say in it. You should listen to your parents, because they love you more than anyone ever will, they love you as I love my son, and as all parents love their sons and daughters.

Your parents want the best for you, but not all those who tell you they want the best for you are one-hundred percent sincere. For example, the Tracy Park playground may have been conceived by Kiwanis with the best of intentions but it probably became enmeshed in the dirty politics of Portsmouth. Because of the mayor’s failure to do his job properly, the playground may have become mired in deceit and dishonesty. It may have been built in poor faith and possibly illegally. In a public records request, I asked the mayor for a copy of the document that authorized the construction of the playground. I asked for a copy of the document that authorized the construction of the playground because I suspected, based on the controversy that arose over the playground, that there was no document authorizing the construction of the playground.

The mayor responded angrily to my request for the document authorizing the construction of the playground. He answered me late Saturday evening, so late it was already early Sunday morning, using language that children do not need to hear and that I won’t repeat. He said he would provide me with the public records that I asked for, but he could not imagine why I wanted those records. I think the mayor knew why I was asking for those records. I think the mayor knew that I suspected there was no such authorizing public document.

Mayor Kalb is Not a Wise Man

I think the mayor knew that I suspected that the record I was asking for didn’t exist, and that was why he was so angry. I suspected the record didn’t exist because he, with his characteristic negligence and incompetence, had failed to make such a record in the first place. The anger the mayor expressed in his email to me was the anger of an unpopular and controversial mayor who had lost the primary in May by a wide margin, and was now being asked by me , in the middle of the mayoral campaign, to produce something he didn’t have but was supposed to have. He had already received a no-confidence vote from the people in the primary, so he gave vent to his anger at me in the late-night email, not heeding the warning in Proverbs that says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Mayor Kalb is not a wise man.

I would have been satisfied if someone in Kiwanis could prove to me that the undated public document the mayor had provided me with had been drawn up and signed before I had requested the document, or at least before the construction of the playground had begun. About a week ago, I asked the president of Kiwanis when she had signed the document. She declined to answer me, suggesting I write to the Kiwanis Club with my question. I wrote to the only address I could find for Kiwanis, a P.O. box number. I sent a special delivery letter to the P.O. number, repeating my question, but as of yesterday, October 31, I had received no answer. If the undated document the mayor provided me was bogus, and somebody in Kiwanis had colluded with him in concocting that document, I knew that I probably would not get an answer from Kiwanis, at least not before the November 3rd election, and maybe not even after the election, not if somebody in Kiwanis had conspired with the mayor in a cover-up.

If and when Kiwanis can prove the undated public document the mayor supplied me is not bogus, I will apologize for my suspicions. But until then I will continue to suspect the undated document, signed by the president of Kiwanis and the mayor, was created after the fact, to deceive me and the public, which is why it is not dated. Until an explanation is put forth, I will continue to suspect that a cover-up has taken place, and that you, the children of Portsmouth, are being used as pawns in a cynical political game, the object of which is to return the mayor to office for another four years so he can continue to serve as a puppet for those who control our drug-ridden city.


A recent statistic, cited in the Scioto Voice, shows that the rate for death by drug overdoses in Scioto County is the second highest in the state of Ohio. As you children of Portsmouth enter adolescence, as you leave the playground behind, you will face pressure from peers and from drug-dealers to be cool by getting high. Whether you are from a blue-collar or white-collar family, you will not be able to escape this pressure, not if you live in the Portsmouth area. The sons and daughters of some of the most prominent local families have succumbed to drugs. To support their addiction, some have gone on to become dealers or prostitutes. Not all the prostitutes we see wandering our streets are from out of town. I talked to one drug-addicted prostitute a few years ago who told me her family made their living in connection with the local criminal justice system and I would recognize the family name if she told me, which I didn’t ask her to.

If you are the son or daughter of a prominent Portsmouth family, you must not think that offers protection from getting in trouble with the law over using and dealing drugs. It is a sign of just how bad the drug problem in the Portsmouth area is that the son of the mayor, the son of chief of police, and the son of the man who is likely to be elected the next Portsmouth municipal judge became addicts and compiled public records of a very different sort.

When I moved to Portsmouth in 1989, my son was already of college age. Had he not been, and had I known about Portsmouth what I now do, I never would have moved to this city. As much credit as I would now like to take for my son not becoming an addict, I know I would not risk raising him in Portsmouth – not in a thousand years. I know that there are many drug-free, stable children who grow up in loving Portsmouth families, children who go on to lead productive, happy lives. But I know that luck is involved in which children and which families escape the hell of addiction and which don’t. I would not want to press my luck by raising children in Portsmouth, not with the widespread drug use that has existed here for a long time and will continue to exist until changes are made.

The problem in Portsmouth is not just the drugs. Political corruption is as pernicious as drugs are. It is no secret that a few wealthy people control this town politically and economically, and they are not going to tolerate anyone getting into public office who might try to get them to release the stranglehold they have on the city. Those who control the city would rather have the incompetent and the criminally inclined in public office than have people who want to improve and renew the city.

Moral Quicksand

I hope you, the children of Portsmouth, will grow up to understand that no progress can be made against drugs and all the vices associated with drugs until something is done about the political corruption in Portsmouth. A playground built on moral quicksand, a playground that may have come into existence on the basis of fraud is, in effect, putting the children of Portsmouth in a hole. A city built on moral quicksand is even more dangerous to children, who tend to learn by example. If the children of every community are the most precious group in that community, their civic and moral development is not fostered by perpetuating political corruption, and is not fostered by reelecting a mayor who has the work ethic of a sloth and whose supporters are anonymously and cowardly slandering other candidates for office in a blog that appropriately calls itself “The Underground.” The lowdown types who have produced this blog are truly part of the underground.

If when you grow up and write something in a chatroom or on a blog, as I am doing here, on River Vices, I hope that you will not do it anonymously, that you will sign your name to whatever you write, especially if you are being critical of elected officials or of those who are running for elective office, and that you will take the responsibility for and be prepared to defend publicly, and in a court of law, if necessary, what you write about them. Have the courage of your convictions.

In closing, I want to say to you, the children of Portsmouth, because you represent the future of the city and of America, that true champions of children are not themselves substance abusers. True champions of children do not collude with corrupt politicians. True champions of children do not anonymously slander candidates in underground blogs and flyers that sprout up like poisonous mushrooms in the final days of the campaign. True champions of children must set a good example for them to follow.

When you are old enough to vote, work hard to insure that honest hardworking people get elected to public office, not the kind of lazy puppets and lapdogs we are all too familiar with. The problem with Mayor Kalb is not that he overdoses but that he overdozes.